With autumn approaching like a falling leaf to the ground, it is time to think about transitional pieces to balance the bit of evening chill in the air. For me, the cowl is just such a piece since it stays in place, adds a bit of color to any outfit, and can carry you through winter into spring.
This Taffy Twist Cowl pattern is completely free, but you can thank me for it by donating to my Kickstarter campaign to publish my own book of patterns and recipes in 2014.
For this cowl project, I wanted sweet candy hues so I’m using two skeins Di.Ve‘ Fiamma yarn — Though about 100-110 yards of any bulky yarn would probably do the trick. I am nicknaming my creation the Taffy Twist Cowl (link to my Ravelry project page) because once it was knitted up, it reminded me of a caramel apple coated in sprinkles and crushed rainbow lollypop shards with maybe a rainbow of marshmallows too. The imagery alone reminds me of an October carnival, which is a happy memory to loop around my neck to keep me cosy. Here is my ‘pattern’:
Taffy Twist Cowl
• CO 64 stitches of bulky yarn on 12mm needles
• Join in the round being careful to twist only once
• When the time comes to connect the first skein to the second, use the felted join method which works very very well for this particular yarn. Here is a video showing both the Russian Join and the Felted Join thanks to Abigail’s Crafts How To. Then proceed with your knitting.
• Knit all stitches in all rows until you have about three yards left of the second skein of wool then begin to loosely bind off or use a surprisingly stretchy bind off. Pull the remaining yarn tail through the final loop to knot it off. Leave a few inches of a tail then trim any excess yarn and weave both ends into the cowl.
• Lightly block (photo below). I did this by putting my iron on its wool/steam setting and pressing it for a few seconds then releasing and pressing alternately with a clean hand towel. Initially, I put the towel between the iron and the wool because I was unsure if the wool would felt or melt or be shocked by the heat and steam, but in the end it could come in direct contact and no ill effects were noticed.
Doubled around the neck, it blocks out any breeze and is a comfort when you have a sore throat. Twice around the neck with the second one pulled up over the nose and mouth blocks out cold air, especially good if that is one of your asthma triggers. And, let’s face it, wearing this looks a lot less creepy than donning a balaclava or ski mask when you’re around town. Worn loosely around the neck it gives any shirt a whole new look. Once around the neck then again just behind your forehead and it warms your neck and ears as a kind of hood. Twice around the head makes it a cosy headband/earwarmer. Here are a few photos of the cowl in action:
If you like Di.Ve‘ Fiamma, it is available from Knitted Together or you can hunt for it on Ebay. It is soft – very soft. Though it goes from thick to thin, it is strong and sturdy. I never had any breakage though keeping it from splitting while I knitted in the dark watching a movie was occasionally a challenge. The colorway is delicious! It reminds me of the rainbow swirl mashmallows some gourmet cafés serve in their hot chocolate. The care allows for hand wash in luke warm water, but I think blocking after any dampness or washing is recommended to retain your pattern’s desired shape. I’m grateful to have eight more skeins of this in two colorways to play with.
Please please comment if you end up trying this cowl recipe. Of course, you can also comment for fun.